It never fails. Just when you think you’re done with your holiday shopping, you get invited to a last-minute work party, or your kid comes home and adds another teacher to his “must gift” list. Or maybe your son decided to bring home his girlfriend for the holidays, but doesn’t tell you until the day before Christmas Eve (I am a LONG way off from this happening, thank goodness!). Whatever the reason, we all find ourselves in need of “emergency gifts” throughout the season. Rather than racing around at the very last second trying to find something, plan ahead for those emergencies by stocking up on a few gifts that just about everyone would love (including you, in case you don’t actually end up needing to dip into the emergency stash!).

Need a few last-minute gift ideas for teachers, hostesses and others? Check out 5 perfect gifts for anyone (including yourself!)

5 Great Gift Ideas for Those Gifting Emergencies

I received some of the products below in exchange for sharing them. Affiliate links included below. All opinions are our own.

Gifts in a jar

Minty Mochaccino Holiday Gifts in a Jar with Splenda

Giving homemade cookies or baked goods may seem like a good idea, but chances are your recipient is already having her fill of holiday cookies at home, parties and so on. Rather than adding to the pile of “things that need to be eaten asap or they’ll go bad,” consider one of the zillions of “gift in a jar” options out there. My favorite is my super easy mochaccino in a jar. You can make about half a dozen of these with very inexpensive supplies. Other ideas include soup mixes, crafting supplies (everything needed to make a complete craft) and, of course, cookie mixes for after the holidays.

Seasonal scented candles


Scented candles are pretty much a holiday staple, especially for those of us who use artificial trees. We all want our homes to smell like Christmas! Candlove  Candle Company makes a plethora of beautifully scented candles in a mason jar. I tried out two of their Christmas scents and their Pumpkin Spice scent. They’re perfectly scented, not overpowering but not underwhelming, either. I put them on my mantle and they make my whole dining room and kitchen smell festive.


I love that they’re made in the USA using 100% Soy Wax and a 100% cotton wick. I highly recommend the Christmas Tree scent if you’re looking for something to mask the fact that you have a fake tree. At $14.95 for a 16-oz candle, they’re very reasonably priced. Make sure you grab a few extras for yourself! Get them online on the Candlove Candle Co website.

Little Hand Care Gift Sets

5 Perfect Gifts to Keep on Hand for Hostesses, Teachers & Other Gifting Emergencies5 Perfect Gifts to Keep on Hand for Hostesses, Teachers & Other Gifting Emergencies
Everyone from Amazon to Ulta has prepackaged lotion gift sets that are just right for teachers and hostesses. I suggest sticking with hand care sets for two reasons: first, almost everyone deals with dry, chapped hands during the brutal winter months. Second, the scents are pretty mild, so you don’t have to worry so much about whether your recipient will actually like it. It’s hard to know what types of scents other people like. I, for one, am not a fan of florals. Something like the Burt’s Bees Hand Repair gift set would be perfect.

Coffee or Tea Samplers

5 Perfect Gifts to Keep on Hand for Hostesses, Teachers & Other Gifting Emergencies5 Perfect Gifts to Keep on Hand for Hostesses, Teachers & Other Gifting Emergencies
I wouldn’t recommend buying a pound of coffee to hand out as a gift (some of us are VERY picky about our beans!), but those little samplers are perfect. Tea Forte makes some really cute tea sampler boxes. I’ve tried them out in the past and loved them. Something like the 12 Gourmet Coffees of Christmas sampler would be ideal for a coffee lover.



Gift Cards

Yes, they’re a bit impersonal, but let’s be honest: just about everyone still loves getting a gift card to someplace they love. Grab a few gift cards to places that, if you don’t end up using them for gifts, you’d actually use too. Things like Starbucks, Redbox, Fandango or even a $10 Visa gift card or two. Grab a cute yet inexpensive ornament to hang from the envelope if you want to add more of a personal touch. Check out these ideas for making last-minute gift cards more personal for other ideas.

The great thing about these last-minute emergency gift ideas is that they’re fairly universally loved. They’re also regiftable, should your recipient be one of the few who just doesn’t enjoy this sort of thing. Hopefully, if they do go that route, they don’t regift it back to you or someone you know! Hey, we all know regifting happens, let’s not pretend we don’t. 😀

What are your favorite last-minute emergency gift ideas for hostesses, teachers and that random neighbor who stops by with a gift? Share in the comments!